A gas station in Nebraska is calling itself Terror-Free Oil. The owner says he’ll only sell gasoline made from oil that originates in countries friendly to the United States. That means no oil from the Middle East, none from Venezuela, etc. Which oil companies does that leave?
Forget about the big boys. No Chevron, Texaco, Exxon, Mobil, Shell, BP, Amoco, Phillips, Conoco, Sunoco, Gulf, Getty, or Citgo.
According to the Terror-Free Oil Initiative, you’re down to three in the US: Sinclair, Flying J, and Hess (only two of which are available in the greater St. Louis area).
I asked listeners if they would drive out of their way — say, 15 minutes or so — to purposely get their gas at one of those outlets, knowing that the oil had not come from the Middle East. To my surprise, the vast majority said they would. In fact, quite a few said they already do and named Sinclair as one of the firms they support for that reason.
That seems to be at odds with what we’ve seen heretofore, an unwillingness to change anything about our energy consumption habits for any reason other than cost. When gas got over three bucks a gallon last year, SUV sales went down and people starting thinking more about better mileage. Now that gas is under two dollars a gallon, the trend line is exactly the opposite. It will probably bounce back the other way after Memorial Day, when gas prices traditionally spike for the summer driving season, but the point is that Americans have been notoriously fickle about committing to conservation.
Last night, President Bush’s State Of The Union address included a paragraph or so about reducing US oil consumption by 20% over the next decade. Would it have helped if he had couched it anti-terrorist reasons?